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  • Writer's pictureMARY LIGHT ND MH LMT


I am going to discuss a simple, but disabling and annoying kind of back pain that many of us have experienced. This focuses mainly on lower back pain, which is common because our locus for movement is more in the center of our body- umbilical and lumbar area.

Consider the scenario- you decide to move furniture around , or lift up a bag of something to toss - upwards - in a trash can- and you TWIST doing this movement , or otherwise strain your back. Often there is not even an immediate signal of pain, and you go on to lift and so on for another few hours or a day.

Then you wake up and Lo- wrenching back pain - possibly even difficult to sit up without even more pain. I have had this happen now and again- not often, but recently. The time before that was a year ago when I was moving house and office for a stretch.


It is absolutely necessary to rest more and rest your back. You may need to take a few days off , or at least cut back your activity and make hours more time than just sleep time, to rest. AVOID LIFTING .

I take ibuprofren or Aleve according to directions for a few days. I also take herbal nervines for calming, sleep quality, and pain. Our formula Nerve Rejuvenator is great for that, as is Passion Flower vine tincture.

Cold applications- I use a flexible gel pack that can cover my entire lumbar and or sacral area. Take it from the freezer, lay on it. 20 min to 30 min. I put a cloth of some sort between my skin and the gel pack. I want it cold, not uncomfortable. Recommend dong this twice a day.

After a couple days, alternate cold packs with a hot water bottle. I recently spent an entire Saturday alternating between HOT AND COLD PACKS. And took an Aleve PM at night , and it helped me turn a corner to feel about 75% restored. Did it Sunday too.

Hot water bottle: It should be comfortably hot, don't fill the bottle too full, maybe 2/3, get the steam out of it, and use a cloth between your skin and the bottle. You want the bottle flexible and not like a balloon. A heating pad could work but I prefer the hot water bottle. 20-30 min on this. ALTERNATIVE WITH COLD, 4 cycles if you can!

What you may notice is your back feels good, or Ok, in the morning, and hours later, in the afternoon, there is strain of the day and the pain returns. This is merely a signal to rest and do the alternate cold and hot packs. This is a sign that you are going in the right direction, but that the anatomy of the back, vertebrae, and various muscles is complicated .


~ Chiropractic. Waste of money, made it worse, and so not recommended in an acute situation like this.

~ Local massage therapy- Hey- I am all for a relaxing massage BUT NOT direct work on these muscles. They are injured, strained, and need to heal on their own.

Later when you are healed you can develop awareness of your lifting habits, and also go in a direction of carefully strengthening your back, under some guidance if possible.

Gentle yoga can be a helpful key word gentle and slow. Nothing jumpy and bouncy.

What are your challenges? What has helped you?

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